Fellowship Program

Social Connectedness Fellowship

The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC) Social Connectedness Fellowship empowers young people and people with a variety of different types of lived experience to carry out innovative research on social isolation and belonging. Social Connectedness Fellows are an invaluable part of the global movement to create a world where everyone belongs.

From May to September, Fellows work alongside partner organizations conducting research to address issues related to social isolation and belonging. Through this program, Fellows have the opportunity to connect with experts, grow as researchers and community leaders, and be part of a international cohort of changemakers. The main output of the Fellowship is a final, original report authored by the Fellow and detailing their collaborative work and findings.


The Social Connectedness Fellowship Program was created in the summer of 2017 to enable students and recent graduates to expand their professional networks and gain hands-on experience in research and programming, all while equipping them with new skills and a framework to tackle issues of the 21st century.

Fellows work with a partner organization in the social connectedness movement and conduct research, writing, analysis, and outreach in thematic areas related to social isolation and connectedness. They gain knowledge and develop research specific to their partner’s objectives/mandates, as well as connect with other partners to consult and benefit from their expertise. Past partners have included: Data-Driven Lab, Special Olympics International, Human Rights Watch, Synergos Institute, Partners in Health, Our Place, The Stop Community Food Centre, City of Toronto, HelpAge International, and more.

Due to the strong linkages and outreach with partners and community organizations, our Fellows have delivered impact-driven research. Final research reports from Fellows have  inspired new events on behalf of SCSC, launched pilot programs with partners and directly influenced community initiatives.

Our Fellowship Alumni have  gone on to pursue advanced degrees in Law, Social Policy, Economics, Environment, Education, Architecture and Design, to name a few. Many have gone on to work in organizations and institutions such as UNESCO, TakingITGlobal, UN Environment Programme, and the McConnell Foundation.

“It was the first time I was truly given the opportunity to mold my own project and in doing so, I not only learned new skills related to interviewing techniques, event management, and community-building, but I also found a new confidence in my own capabilities to effectuate real change at the grassroots level.”

Social Connectedness Fellow 2019